A new portable Pi project uses the official 7-inch touch-screen to create a mini laptop for on-the-go users (and people with small hands).
Thingiverse user “surferboy” published blueprints for building the compact computer, which includes the Raspberry Pi Foundation display and an RII mini wireless keyboard and touchpad.
The task, however, is not for the faint of heart, according to the designer, who warned folks that “this is not an easy project”; it requires a basic understanding of electronics and soldering, and the removal of some Pi parts.
“I accept no responsibility for any damages you may cause during this process,” surferboy said.
With all components—including the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B computer board—in hand, get to work pulling apart ports and connecting wires. Step-by-step instructions are not included, but surferboy gives “a basic idea of who it goes together.”
As Hackaday pointed out, the original architect opted to abandon the laptop’s ethernet connection in return for a thinner bundle; a large external battery pack is also likely required.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched its official touch-screen in the fall of 2015, boasting an 800-by-480 resolution and 10-finger touch support.
Available from Amazon for $68.99, the full-color display features an adapter board, DSI ribbon cable, four stand-offs, four jumper wires, and an optional Perspex layer frame. Its wiring setup means the display can be powered through a single cable, leaving HDMI ports free for additional connections.
Together, the parts suferboy used total about $140 (including computer, display, and keyboard), though Lifehacker tipped an additional $100 cost to have the case 3D printed via Print a Thing. If you’ve got $240 to spare, though, and are desperate for a new DIY undertaking, the Raspberry Pi laptop could prove a good time.
Early this year, a nostalgic PinShaped user released details of how to create your own Pi-powered arcade joystick with a 3D-printed enclosure; an inventor, meanwhile, recently showed off his Rubik’s Cube-solving Lego robot using Raspberry Pi.
The mini motherboard also controls the MeArm Pi kit—a programmable robot arm available to order on Kickstarter.